Well perhaps this blog has been bogged down lately, and perhaps some folks feel that feminism has taken a back seat if not bogged down or dead. But in fact, these perceptions are far from reality! My blog story is the easy one — I have been busy on other blogs (ANS in particular) but I have a rhythm there now and am turning back to important stories here! But the big story revolves around feminism and women’s movements around the world
If anyone has been lured in to the popular mistaken notion that feminism is dead, the “Up with Chris Hayes” show on Saturday February 9 is an important media-document that will dispel that notion entirely. The first segment of the show focused on the recent war on women by the political right int he U.S., and how women are addressing the issues that have been raised in this political environment. Most of the show, however, focused on world-wide women’s movements. The fundamental message of this discussion, for me, is that there is simply no going back. So much more needs to be accomplished, but unlike any other period in history, there are strong women worldwide engaged in significant movements and projects, large and small, that firmly situate women’s rights and women’s concerns as strong elements shaping the future.
The panel included women from the early 2nd wave of feminism in the United States, but a majority of women are involved in global feminist projects – a significant message in itself. Here are the eight women on the panel:
Gloria Steinem (@GloriaSteinem), author, lecturer, editor, feminist activist, co-founder of Ms.magazine. She helped launch the Women’s Action Alliance, National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and Take Our Daughters to Work Day.
Marlo Thomas (@MarloThomas), actress, author, activist, and national outreach director for St. Jude’s Children Hospital. She launched her career with “That Girl,” which ran from 1966-1971, a sitcom she co-conceived and produced.
Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry), professor of political science at Tulane University, host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry,” columnist for The Nation.
Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy), columnist and public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues.
Rangina Hamidi, president of Kandahar Treasure, the first women-run business in Kandahar.
Sarita Gupta (@saritasgupta), executive director of Jobs with Justice, co-director of Caring Across Generations.
Laura Flanders (@GRITlaura), founder of GRITtv.org, contributing writer to The Nation.
Mallika Dutt (@mallikadutt), founder of Breakthrough India/Breakthrough U.S.
Clips from all of the segments are available on the MSNBC web site, but this one in particular is one I highly recommend – it is titled “What 21st Century Feminism Looks Like”:
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Very enlightening. Had a little trouble viewing the last 1 or segments, probably my wireless but encouraged my nursing leadership students to watch it as the topic of gender and leadership is the focus of our next 2 classes. At the beginning of the term we were speaking about power and I asked this group of students who they believed enjoyed privilege in our society. One of the male students responded “women!” These are nurses who have been educated and who worked in various parts of the world and are presently taking the program for IENs to obtain their BScN so they can write the licensing exam to practice in Canada. So, my sense is he was serious. His reason for thinking that was that “everybody listens to them.” I simply told him we were going to have some interesting discussions and I would check back with him at the end of the term to see what he thought!
I think this kind of discussion has never been more important. One of the columnists in the Toronto Star wrote about it from another angle and it is just another facet of the whole issue:
If you choose to read it, some background info is that early in December, 2012, one of our First Nation Chiefs, Chief Theresa Spence, staged a hunger strike which lasted 44 days. What she wanted was a meeting with both the Prime Minister and the Governor-General to talk about treaties that weren’t being honoured. First one, then the other refused to meet but eventually she and other Chiefs met with them separately and that, I think only because intense pressure from other chiefs, native people, and other aligned with social justice. It was not a very satisfactory resolution and certainly not an “ending.”
Excellent Toronto Start article. I was amazed to see the Houghington Post web site called out on this issue because I generally respect their reporting, so I went to their web site (which I do not typically visit) and — lo and behold, all the way down the right-hand column is piece after piece about some woman’s hair style or dress … and most of these are listed under the heading “most popular.” That is key to this problem … if these stories are indeed the most popular among all the substantive issues that the “Post” reports… then the problem is not only the news outlet, but what “we the people” pay attention to.